Originally funded beginning September 1, 2003, UCA’s Upward Bound Project provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in pre-college performance and ultimately in higher education pursuits. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education.
Upward Bound strives to provide academic challenges and emotional and social support in order to raise participants’ self-concept, enhance their self-development and achieve their full potential. Starting at enrollment, students are challenged to remain in the program and to achieve success in their academic and personal development throughout their high school careers into post-secondary education.
To understand the importance of Upward Bound, one only has to know that before entering the program, some of these students never considered college because they either never thought they could attend or had been told the odds against them were too great.
Upward Bound is 100% federally funded by the U. S. Department of Education for eligible high school students who aspire toward higher education. Upward Bound is part of the Trio family of federally funded programs. The UCA program is one of over 700 Upward Bound Projects operating throughout the United States.
The project is designed to achieve six student objectives. We have developed a comprehensive plan for evaluating progress in meeting these objectives.
Academic Performance-Grade Point Average (GPA): 60% of participants served during the project year will have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better on a four-point scale at the end of the school year.
Performance on Standardized Test-65% of UB seniors served during the project year, will have achieved at the proficient level on state assessments in reading/language arts and math.
Secondary School Retention and Graduation– 95% of project participants served during the project year will continue in school for the next academic year, at the next grade level, or will have graduated from secondary school with a regular secondary school diploma.
Secondary School Graduation (rigorous secondary school program of study)- 75% of all current and prior year UB participants, who at the time of entrance into the project had and expected high school graduation date in the school year, will complete a rigorous secondary school program of study and graduate in that school year with a regular secondary school diploma.
Postsecondary Enrollment:-70% of all current and prior UB participants, who at the time of entrance into the project had an expected high school graduation date in the school year, will enroll in a program of postsecondary education by the fall term immediately following high school graduation or will have received notification, by the fall term immediately following high school, from an institution of higher education, of acceptance but deferred enrollment until the next academic semester (e.g. spring semester).
Postsecondary Completion- 50% of participants who enrolled in a program of postsecondary education, by the fall term immediately following high school graduation or by the next academic term (e.g., spring term) as a result of acceptance by deferred enrollment, will attain either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree within six years following graduation from high school.
Research shows that overall, more than eighty percent (80%) of Upward Bound graduates enter institutions of higher learning. These graduates are more than twice as likely to enroll in post-secondary education as are students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in an Upward Bound Program. Six years after high school graduation, Upward Bound students were four times as likely to earn a college degree as students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in an Upward Bound Program. Given these results, it is evident that Upward Bound participation is positively related to immediate entry into post-secondary (college) education and completion of an undergraduate (college) degree.